The Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat has launched an APP that will link the continent’s Small Medium Enterprises (SME) and innovators to a global one-stop-technology platform for seeking possible sponsors for their projects.
The platform dubbed AfCFTA App will issue a mark of identity to every organization or businesses interested in benefiting from AfCFTA on easing ways of doing business and getting partnerships across Africa, export and import goods under the low duty regime, and satisfy some “know-your-customer” requirements at banks and financial institutions.
The App is the enabler of the broader AfCFTA Vision effort, an AU initiative in partnership with Sankoree Institute, an affiliate of AfroChampions. The two partners intend to propel AfCFTA to success with the backing of the continent’s development finance institutions.
AfCFTA is the world’s largest trade bloc with a membership of 54 out of the 55 African Union nations.
Once fully operational, economists say AfCFTA would considerably expand intra-Africa trade whilst helping the continent move up the value chain in multiple industries, helping achieve the vision of Agenda 2063 of a united, prosperous, continent relating on equal footing with its peers on the global stage.
Intra trade in the continent still remains low. It stands at 15 per cent, — comparing unfavourably with Europe at 68 per cent, North America at 37 per cent, and Latin America at 20 per cent — largely due to trade barriers, and poor transport and telecommunication connectivity.
Under the AfCFTA, liberalisation of trade is being carried out through regional trading blocs — the East African Community (EAC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) — which run separate Customs unions.